Contrary to popular belief / conventional wisdom, you should NOT use vinegar for cleaning tiles and grout. Vinegar is an acid and will decay grout over time. It can also permanently damage or etch the surface of natural stones tiles. Likewise, citrus cleaning products contain citric acid and will act in the same way as vinegar. Bleach or alkaline based cleaners should be used sparingly, well diluted and then rinsed well. The area should be kept well ventilated or alternatively, make sure to wear a respirator to prevent breathing difficulties.
The best product for cleaning both tiles and grout is a PH neutral cleaner. If in doubt, read the label on the back of the product. Cleaning products will usually state if they are PH neutral. If not, look for any mention of marble or natural stone. If the product is UNsafe to use on marble / natural stone, it will usually contain acid and should be avoided. Look for products which are safe to use on marble and natural stone. A good quality dishwashing liquid makes a great cleaner for kitchen and living area floor tiles and grout. Simply follow the guidelines outlined below regarding best practices for cleaning your tiles and grout.
In today’s busy world people are looking for quick fix cleaning – products which you can spray on and leave. This is not the correct approach for cleaning tiles and grout. Any chemical residue left on the surface acts as a magnet to attract dirt / grime build up. We strongly recommend rinsing thoroughly as part of your cleaning regime to ensure no chemical residue remains. It is also important to realise that tile cleaning products need “dwell time” in order to loosen dirt and grime. As you would soak a heavily caked baking dish, so you should allow time for your cleaning product to dwell on the floor. 5-10 minutes is usually sufficient, just make sure not to leave so long as the product starts to dry. Best Practices for Cleaning floor Tiles & Grout
- Select the correct product, according to the guidelines above.
- Dilute the product with water according to the instructions.
- Spread the cleaning solution over the tiles and grout.
- Allow the cleaning solution to dwell for 5-10 minutes.
- Use a mop or doodlebug to agitate, loosen and collect the dirt/grime.
- Rinse the area using clean water (changed frequently) and a mop.
- Dry mop the area to remove any residual moisture.